Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/63

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51
AN EXHIBITION PERFORMANCE

Jimmy became quite cordial.

"You have been well-grounded, Spike," he said. "And, after all, that is half the battle. The advice I give to every novice is, 'Learn to walk before you try to run.' Master the a, b, c, of the craft first. With a little careful coaching, you will do. Just so. Pop in."

Spike climbed cautiously over the sill, followed by Jimmy. The latter struck a match, and found the electric light switch. They were in a parlor, furnished and decorated with surprising taste. Jimmy had expected the usual hideousness, but here everything from the wall-paper to the smallest ornaments was wonderfully well selected.

Business, however, was business. This was no time to stand admiring artistic effects in room-furnishing. There was that big J to be carved on the front door. If 'twere done, then 'twere well 'twere done quickly.

He was just moving to the door, when from some distant part of the house came the bark of a dog. Another joined in. The solo became a duet. The air was filled with their clamor.

"Gee!" cried Spike.

The remark seemed more or less to sum up the situation.

"'Tis sweet," says Byron, "to hear the watch-dog's honest bark." Jimmy and Spike found two watch-dogs' honest barks cloying. Spike intimated this by making a feverish dash for the open window.